Annual Reports

Project Reports

A Quality Improvement Review and Analysis of the Office Management of DCF
The OCA was tasked with a Quality Improvement Review and Analysis of the Office Management of DCF pursuant to Outside Section 219  docx format of Outside Section 219 
of the Massachusetts Budget for Fiscal Year 2015.  The Ripples Group is conducting the Section 219 review under contract with the OCA and expects to complete its review by November 2, 2015.

  • Interim Report  pdf format of Interim Report
file size 8MB docx format of                             Interim Report                file size 2MB from the OCA to the legislature includes findings from a Suffolk University Moakley Center 2014   survey of DCF employees.
  • Second Interim Report  pdf format of Second Interim Report
doc format of                             Second Interim Report                from the OCA to the legislature includes findings from a 2014 DCF survey of DCF parents and guardians who were former DCF clients.;

A copy of the DCF’s report on the survey results is available upon request. 

Final Report from the OCA to the legislature regarding an emergency review and analysis of office management, recordkeeping, and background check policies of the Department of Children and Families.


An Evaluation of the DCF Administrative Hearing System
The Ripples Group is conducting this evaluation under a contract with the OCA pursuant to Administration and Finance Reserve Appropriation 1599-7771  docx format of Administration and Finance Reserve Appropriation 1599-7
.

Investigations

Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) Releases Report Concerning the Death of Bella Bond
The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) was asked by Governor Baker to conduct an independent review of the Commonwealth’s involvement with two-year-old Bella Bond and her family during her short life.  After the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) work with the family ended in September 2013, DCF received no subsequent 51A reports of alleged abuse or neglect regarding Bella. Therefore, the OCA’s review examines the role of DCF when it was involved and of other public agencies and community service providers from whom the family received professional services or financial support to determine if opportunities were missed to raise concerns about the safety and well-being of Bella.

The OCA’s findings regarding DCF casework in 2012-2013 are similar to those identified in other recent case reviews released by the Governor and OCA and are being addressed by initiatives currently underway, including rebuilding DCF’s management structure, quality assurance processes, and policies to provide clear guidance and oversight to staff in assessing risk to children and monitoring families.

The OCA’s review reinforces that the safety and well being of a child is the shared responsibility of the family, community, and entities responsible for providing assistance to children and families. It is not intended to place blame, but rather to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources.  To that end the OCA presents findings and recommendations for improvement in the Commonwealth’s ability to protect children.


OCA Releases Report Concerning the Disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver
The Office of the Child Advocate has conducted an independent investigation into the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver and DCF’s work with the Oliver family. The Child Advocate has concluded that the high caseloads at DCF’s North Central Area Office provide a context rather than an explanation or excuse for the repeated failures of the DCF employees. The OCA investigation included a review of DCF records and other documents and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel. The complete OCA report, along with the DCF Investigation Report of December 30, 2013 is available here.

OCA Releases Statement Concerning the Death of Chase Gideika
The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) received a Critical Incident Report on July 8, 2013, regarding the death of three-month-old Chase Gideika.  Secretary John Polanowicz of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) requested that the OCA conduct an independent investigation into DCF's work with Chase Gideika’s family.  This investigation included extensive document review and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel.  The OCA has completed its investigation and has discussed its findings and recommendations with Secretary Polanowicz. A statement summarizing the OCA’s observations and recommendations is available below.